COVID-19 Vaccine

Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 vaccination plan has followed a phased approach, following the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommendations on vaccine rollout.

Intervals between vaccine doses:

Between the first and second doses (primary series)

  • 56 days (8 weeks)

Between the second dose and first booster

  • 168 days (24 weeks) – Ages 12 - 69
  • 140 days (20 weeks) – Pregnant people
  • 120 days (17 weeks) – People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, and eligible groups* (see below)

Between the first and second boosters

  • 120 days (17 weeks) – Eligible groups* (see below)

*Eligible groups include:

  • People age 70+
  • Adult residents of long-term care or congregate living settings
  • People age 55+ who are First Nations

Nova Scotians who are moderately to severely immunocompromised will need a third dose of vaccine to complete their primary series. In this case, the time between the first dose and second dose is 28 days (4 weeks) and the time between the second dose and third dose is 56 days (8 weeks). Learn more at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/vaccine/#additional-doses.

Waiting period for those who have tested positive for COVID-19:

  • people who tested positive and have not been fully vaccinated are advised to wait at least two months (60 days) to get a first or second dose of vaccine.
  • people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been fully vaccinated are advised to wait at least three months (90 days) to get a booster dose, provided they have been fully vaccinated for at least 168 days and are eligible for a booster.

For more information about Nova Scotia’s vaccine strategy please visit: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/vaccine/.

 

Book a Vaccination Appointment

Drop-in
Vaccination Clinics

      
What to Expect at a Vaccine Clinic

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

How to access your COVID-19 vaccine proof of vaccination

If you have not received a digital record of your COVID-19 vaccine(s), you can access your COVID-19 proof of vaccination by visiting: novascotia.ca/immunizationrecord

To access your proof of vaccination, you can enter your health card number and an email address OR your health card number and a phone number (mobile or land line).

If you are unable to access your record online, you can call 1-833-797-7772 to request that your proof of vaccination be mailed to you.

Primary series of COVID-19 vaccine doses

Nova Scotia adopted the NACI recommendation that the interval between first and second doses of primary series be 56 days (8 weeks). Evidence shows that a longer interval creates a better immune response.

Below are the recommended minimum time intervals between COVID-19 vaccine doses for a person’s primary series:

  • If someone received Pfizer as their first dose, they can receive Pfizer or Moderna (eight) 8 weeks later.
  • If someone received Moderna as their first dose, they can receive Moderna or Pfizer (eight) 8 weeks later.
  • If someone received Astra Zeneca Vaxzevria as their first dose, they can receive Moderna and Pfizer (eight) 8 weeks later.

Eligible age groups by vaccine:

  • Pfizer BioNTech: 5 years and older
  • Moderna: 18 years and older

 

Allergies

A confirmed allergy to the COVID-19 vaccines is rare. If your health care provider has questions regarding allergies and COVID-19 vaccines s/he can contact an allergist.

Special populations

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for people who:

  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • have autoimmune disorders
  • are immunosuppressed

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) strongly recommends that people who are planning a pregnancy, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, get a complete series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, plus a booster dose when eligible. There is growing information on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy. There have not been any unique safety concerns raised about negative health effects from vaccine for pregnant people or their babies. Evidence is showing that antibodies from mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are present in breast milk after maternal vaccination with mRNA vaccines, which may provide some protection for breastfed babies. View more information

Immunosuppression or immunocompromised status

People who are immunocompromised (have a weak immune system) were not included in the trials testing COVID-19 vaccines. However, immunocompromised people have received Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines during the pandemic. There have not been any unique safety concerns raised about negative health effects from vaccine for immunocompromised people. If you're immunosuppressed from disease or treatment, you may have a reduced immune response to any COVID-19 vaccine.

Recent data suggests that people with an autoimmune condition and normal immune system have a similar response to a COVID-19 vaccine than people without these conditions. There have not been any unique safety concerns raised about negative health effects from vaccine for autoimmune individuals.

Immunosuppression, auto-immune disorders, pregnancy and breastfeeding are not contraindications to COVID-19 immunization.

Medical Contraindications to COVID-19 vaccination

Medical contraindications against COVID-19 vaccines are limited in number, and include:

  • a history of severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) after previous administration of a COVID-19 vaccine using a similar platform (mRNA or viral vector);
  • an allergy to any component of the specific COVID-19 vaccine or its container [polyethylene glycol (PEG) for Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines];
  • a history of major venous and/or arterial thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following vaccination with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine;
  • a history of capillary leak syndrome (CLS) following vaccination with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

As a precaution, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that people who experienced myocarditis and/or pericarditis after a first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) should wait to get their second dose of mRNA vaccine until more information is available.

If you have a history of myocarditis or pericarditis and are still being followed by a doctor for related heart issues, please follow up with your healthcare provider before receiving the vaccine.

Nova Scotians who are concerned about their personal medical history and the available mRNA vaccines should speak with their healthcare provider.